Director Rudolf Frey on Maria Stuarda | Welsh National Opera

Director Rudolf Frey on Maria Stuarda

8 July 2013

Want to know what the Director Rudolf Frey has to say about his new production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda? From larger than life Queens to love triangles, read Rudolf’s thoughts below.

“Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda intrigues me on many levels as it is a sharp and concise interpretation of one of the most exciting episodes in Tudor history. The simple presence of two powerful Queens has an enormous explosive power.  In this production we will give them their own equal but distinctive habitat on stage - the larger than life Queens will almost appear as if they were precious artefacts in a contemporary exhibition.  In Elizabeth’s kingdom the presence of Mary Stuart is the main concern and driving power of the protagonists - in Mary’s prison we will see her behaviour mirror Elizabeth‘s.  

“In my opinion the opera seems like distillation of Friedrich Schiller’s play [Mary Stuart] as it clearly focuses on a few essential characters and conflicts – this goes well with the rules and distinct timing of the Bel canto style as it often shifts from reality into the emotional thoughts of the protagonists. Obviously the opera concentrates on a love theme with Count Leicester as the catalyst of this love triangle.  This raises questions about Elizabeth’s status as the ‘Virgin Queen’ when compared to the affairs and crimes Mary Stuart is being accused of. We get an insight into the most vulnerable point of the two monarchs as they are being driven by their will to rule, survive and retain their female identity in a male-dominated society.”